5 Reasons I Love Chicago in the Summer

Today I’m sharing five reasons why I love Chicago in the summer – my city home for almost 10 years.

It’s hard to believe I have lived in Chicago for so long! I miss my family and friends in Iowa, but moving here has fulfilled my life in ways it’s hard to fully describe. In my time here I have held four jobs, lived in four apartments, met wonderful friends, got married, bought a house, and had a baby.  I love living in this city and I think summer is the best time of year to enjoy it.

If you’re considering a move to Chicago or the “Chicagoland” area, check out to learn more about cities and neighborhoods. is an apartment rental listing service with lots of information about Chicago and other cities. I think the conclusion that Chicago combines the big city with the Midwest mindset is the perfect way to describe living here.

1: Millennium Park

Millennium Park has an amazing outdoor music venue, Pritzker Pavilion, that hosts concerts and events all summer long. A few of my favorites include the National Public Radio taping of the popular show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me; weekly {free} music performances; and the annual outdoor opera highlights concert in September. The park also hosts free outdoor workouts during summer months, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

2: Chicago Parks

Within the 77 neighborhoods of Chicago, there are 535 parks totaling more than 8,000 acres. I love spending time in Chicago parks on summer days. Two of my favorites are Lincoln Park {pictured below} and Horner Park. Lincoln Park includes the free Lincoln Park Zoo and weekly Saturday Green City Market farmers market. Horner Park includes many baseball fields, a 1 mile loop for running, walking or biking; one of the few running hills in Chicago; and a small Saturday farmers market during summer months.

3: Breweries

Chicago is a beer city – there are 65 breweries in the city limits and 110 in the Chicagoland area {see The Hop Review – The Comprehensive Brewery List of Chicago}. That number is second to Portland, Oregon. K and I still have many breweries to visit but I’ll mention two of our favorites in this post. The best brewery to take friends to on the north side is Half Acre in North Center. It’s cozy, they have a tap room and store, weekly tours, and a new dining menu. The best destination brewery is Lagunitas Brewing Company in Douglas Park. They have a large tap room/restaurant, an amazing tour and it’s literally Willy Wonka themed as you walk through the main entrance. Two summers ago we took a long bike ride there with friends, ending with lunch and beer flights. Their beer circus event can’t be missed, if you can get your hands on tickets.

4: Lake Michigan Beaches

One of the most amazing things about Chicago is the fact that all of the beaches on Lake Michigan within the city limits are public. While reading an article on little known Chicago beach facts, I learned the first public beach opened in 1895 {see 10 Things About Chicago Beaches You Might Not Know}. Today there are 27 beaches along the lakefront. Pictured below is Montrose Beach on a quiet morning before sunbathers arrived.

5: Neighborhood Races

Chicago is a great city for running. There are amazing running groups {two examples: Three Run Two and Chicago Area Runners Association}. Fleet Feet Sports also offers frequent group running events – check out their running calendar here.  There are also races scheduled on most weekends in the city and suburbs. I usually run at least a handful of races in the summer. I haven’t signed up for any races in July or August yet {here’s why} but there are a few I am considering:

  • Bastille Day 8k – July 14
  • Big Ten 10k – July 24
  • Humboldt Park 5k – August 14 {2015 race recap}

Here’s to another 10 years Chicago 🙂

Have you visited or are you considering moving to Chicago? Check out the local Chicago guide here!

0 thoughts on “5 Reasons I Love Chicago in the Summer”

  • Seriously, there is NOTHING better than Chicago in the summer. Thus why we have to put up with the winters! Even though the past few haven't been too bad. We paid for them with the polar vortexes!

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